The Army must change now if it hopes to fulfill its mission of defending the nation, Gen. James C. McConville, the chief of staff, told a virtual audience Sept. 17 at a presentation during the 2020 Maneuver Warfare Conference.
“If we have an army [with] cohesive teams, where everyone takes care of each other [and] we represent the diversity of the nation and everyone feels included, everything else follows,” McConville said.
McConville’s presentation focused on three areas of priority – readiness, modernization, and reform. Every member of the Army community has a role, he said, to include not only the active, National Guard and reserve components. Families, veterans and retirees all play key roles.
“It’s an absolute requirement to take care of our families,” McConville said.
Retirees and veterans can contribute by using their stories to inspire talented young people to consider joining the Army, McConville believes.
“Tell them,” he said, “It’s an opportunity to be a part of a team where you have a purpose.”
Readiness, McConville said, means making sure soldiers and non-commissioned officers have the time to do their jobs. “Fights are going to be won at the platoon and company level. We have to make sure they’re going to be highly trained, disciplined and fit,” McConville said.
Modernization entails recognition that the nation is in a “great power competition,” McConville said. “The way you avoid great power conflict is through strength.”
Matching wits with China and Russia requires the ability to avoid escalation into armed conflict by manifesting strength, McConville said.
Reform, McConville said, entails a move toward embracing the information age and eschewing older policies that were made during the industrialization age. “We will be contested in every single domain,” he said. “We will have an organization that can operate below the level of armed conflict, and also be in a position to fight and win if we do come to armed conflict.”